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March 10th, 2005

At Least There’s QVC

So yesterday for circumstances I won’t explain here, we decided that it might be time to pony up for cable television. Nothing outlandish, mind you, but something to fill our TiVo for a while.

Given we don’t need too much outside of the super basic local channel package, we checked out Comcast’s website to determine what channels are included. (As an aside it took me about five extra steps… but that’s due to a poor interface. Bah.) The good news? Standard Cable, which doesn’t include their dumb converter box and dumb channels, was on sale for $10/month for three months. That sounded great. Then I looked at Basic Cable, which is aptly named.

Basic Cable includes just local TV channels, the government access channel (required by village law,) and… QVC. QVC?

In the back of my head, where I can’t remember important things like what I ate for lunch two weeks ago, a lightbulb went off. “Oh, yeah, that’s because Comcast used to own QVC… or still does.” But don’t you find it odd that QVC is considered part of Basic Cable? Who needs QVC? If the internet never came along, okay, maybe….

I think for Basic Cable I’d like to see Comcast throw in one channel of your choice for free. No premium stuff obviously, but something. So I could choose to have Bravo, or The Golf Channel (which I care deeply about,) or something else with my super duper ultra-basic Basic Cable.

At least Basic Cable is cheap. That’s about all it’s got going for it.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 10, 2005 -- 2:13:06 pm
Can't you get the local channels for free with an antenna? You do live in Chicago...

FROM: Greg C
DATE: Thursday March 10, 2005 -- 10:16:22 pm
It has nothing to do with who owns QVC. Dish Network and DirecTV have all the shopping channels free with all their packages, including the basic of basic ones.

It has to do with the fact that they pay the carriers a percentage of their sales. ALL the home shopping channels do. If the cable & satellite operators had their way, they'd have nothing BUT.

On Dish I have the next to the highest plan, America's Top 120. In it, there are about 20 shopping channels.

It's crazy how the operators do it though. Recently I downgraded from the Top 180 plan, but couldn't go down to the Top 60 because of 2 or 3 channels (specifically, FX because the FREAKIN' SHIELD is on in a week!). Sorry.

Anyway, I wish I could pick just the channels I want/need.

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday March 10, 2005 -- 11:07:48 pm
Greg! You need Cable A La Carte! That's been my mantra for years. And coincidentally, as of tomorrow, I will only have basic cable as well! I am saving $360 a year, essntially 12 weeks worth of gas. I will still get QVC, C-SPAN (woo hoo!) and a Spanish channel in addition to the networks. I think I will miss my friends on the Weather Channel as well as my pals on the Food Channel. Maybe I will books or go outside or something.

FROM: jk
DATE: Friday March 11, 2005 -- 10:23:53 pm
Day 1 with Basic Cable and I am still ok. For some reason (shhhh!), I still have ESPN!

I do feel strangely liberated. I bet my house will be strangely cleaner too.

DATE: Sunday March 13, 2005 -- 7:40:41 pm
I could not only have like 20 channels, that would suck, i dont think comcast owns qvc, maybe qvc just pad alot to be a basic channel.

Trinette T March 19, 2007, 4:51 pm

I don’t care who owns QVC. I love that company. They are truly outstanding. I feel the Dish Network’s billing is more complicated than it needs to be. I had the Dish and my monthly fees were always quite a bit higher than I expected them to be when I signed on. Then I had to pay an additional five bucks per month for not using my phone jack plug in for their converter box. I wasn’t told this by Dish when I signed on. I do not feel they are an upfront company. Too many hidden and pro-rated fees. I switched to Comcast and their fees are exactly what they tell you they will be when you first sign on with them–very straight-forward, no hidden cost. I have to say, all cable companies charge too much, but I would much rather go with the one that has no hidden cost and complicated bills. Comcast is the one. All you see on that bill is your service cost, taxes and that’s it

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